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What Are Six Steps to Writing?

The Riddle Report 04 20 2021

This blog is written to help new authors or those contemplating the idea of writing a book.

If you are thinking about whether to write a book or not, don’t be afraid to step out. While there are thousands of writers out there, there is no one quite like you. And we need to see your work.

What follows are six steps to help you get started. These are not in-depth, and they are not all that difficult. But I believe that you should take them to heart.

#1 – The Concept

The Basics of the Story

A story has to start somewhere and that is usually in the mind of the author. Perhaps it is a childhood memory, college years, military service, or simply a job. All of these are potential sources of plots.

You may only know a ‘what if?’ concept or perhaps a specific event in your own life that has triggered an idea for a story. While I am primarily talking about a fictional story, you could also want to write a nonfiction account of your experience.

#2 – The Research

Beginning Research

I call it Beginning Research because research is something you will need to do a lot of throughout your writing. But here you are performing some basic research to get you off on the right foot.

Some of the research you will do is as follows:

  • What is the uniqueness of the subject?
  • Has someone else already written on the subject?
  • What genres will it be in?
  • Is it fictional or nonfiction?

You get the idea. These are areas that you should consider, and you will probably come up with other areas. And none of the above will probably ever get in your book. But they will help you formulate your ideas.

Other areas of research may cover location of the story (i.e., Florida, Maine, etc.), type of industry in area, manner of speech and dress in the area, and so forth. The answers to these questions will have a direct impact upon your story.

In short, research is a valuable tool that you can use to help you throughout writing your book and, indeed, throughout your writing career.

#3 – First Draft

Your initial Work

New authors often fall in love with their first drafts because they poured their hearts into it. But you should always consider the first draft as a rough draft not meant for publication. No matter how much effort you put in this first draft it is going to require work.

I have never met an author who wrote a first draft and successfully published it. Someone out there may claim they have done so, but I can almost guarantee you that the draft is full of errors.

#4 – Review and Edit

Edit or not?

Some writers don’t edit until they have finished the first draft, others like to edit every page. Neither approach is wrong. But I would suggest that making use of your built-in grammar checker can be a help. But it is critical to remember that the grammar checker does not know whether you are writing an academic paper, which requires very stringent grammar, or a novel, which is not that stringent.

The other thing to remember about grammar programs is that they know the rules, but those rules are aimed at the academic level. Plus, the program does not know you are writing a novel, does not know your plot, does not know the education level of your characters, and so forth. So, use the grammar checker as a tool and interpret its concerns accordingly.

That said, I recommend that you strike a balance between constant editing and waiting until the end. Edit is necessary, but too much of a good thing can disrupt your flow of thoughts. In this first draft your story’s development is the most important thing going on. And when you finish your first draft you will find it necessary to go back over the entire book and check out your spelling, grammar, and other issues that may pop up. You find these issues by reading your draft. It is called reviewing.

What you are doing for each draft is reviewing and editing. And it may take several drafts before your book is ready to be published.

#5 – Get Help

Professional Help

After you have finished the first draft and done your review & edit, you can then write your next draft. But after you third or fourth or fifth draft you may realize that you need help.

The temptation is too do it all by yourself. And the hard truth is that even your very best authors don’t publish error free books. I know, I’ve read some of the best and still found errors. Sometimes minor and sometimes major. When you are talking about thousands of words, the likelihood of errors increases even when you use professional help.

But you don’t necessarily need professional help. Consider relatives or friends. But make sure they understand that you need honest reviews. It is not helpful if they tell you what they think you want to hear. What you need are another pair of eyes.

Even so, if you are on a tight budget, you may not be able to do that because if someone helps you out like that you should do something for them. If you are on a tight budget you may have to do it yourself, in which case, I would suggest that you take a breather after finishing a draft and do something else. Then go back and reread your story. You might consider reading with a view for spelling errors, such as ‘their’ instead of ‘there’. Then, reread the story and look at the grammar.

But if you go the do-it-yourself-approach, remember that you are the author and know what you think you wrote. Your mind might trick your eyes into seeing the words that you thought you wrote instead of the words you really wrote.

More about this issue on the other side of this break. TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to help you be your absolute best as a writer.

The problems associated with self-editing are why there are professional editors out there. We exist to help you prepare your book for publishing. We read your book thoroughly looking for errors in grammar, spelling, etc. Then we work with you to improve the story.

In fact, if we are doing the editing, we do so with your story in mind. And not only your story, but your writing style. It is unique to you and we believe it should be preserved. So, we edit and proof the book, then we make sure you are happy with the results. Only when you are happy, and it meets the requirements of KDP is the book published.

And you haven’t spent a fortune to have it done.

Now back to the article.

#6 – Getting Published

Kindle Direct Publishing

At TR Writing Services we use KDP because they:

  • Allow the author to have total control except for a few technical issues
  • Allow you to determine your royalties, which range from 35% to 70%
  • Pay directly to an account you indicate
  • Provide you a large potential readership
  • and much more.

There are self-publishing companies out there that you should learn about. Don’t be confused by the term self-publishing. It does not mean that you have control over the publishing process. They do. And if you want them to edit your book, you may be giving up any control you have there as well.

But there are publishing criteria that you need to check out. One is the book cover.

It is important that after all the work you have put in to the book that your cover be good. And you have some options.

  • KDP gallery, which provides templates and pictures
  • Professional designers who will design a book cover for you

The KDP gallery should not be ignored. They have a small amount of pictures that may fit your need. I wish they would expand that gallery. However, they also have preset templates for book covers which allows you to upload your own pictures, such as designed for you or you purchased off the internet. Some designers will design the back cover for you but unless these people are KDP certified it could prove difficult. So, take the time and find out if they have worked with KDP, because KDP has criteria that must be met.

Professional designers offer their services at varying prices. Just because someone offers their services at a high cost does not mean that their services are better than anyone else’s. Check out their work.

Here’s thought. Why not make use of istock, pexels, pixabay, or others. Then upload to KDP the picture you bought or downloaded. Then let KDP do the rest.

I’ve done it. They also let you upload of bio picture of yourself along with a short biography and a description of the book. Then they let you know if you need to do more work on any of those items. When done, you have a quality book cover.

There you have it. Six basic steps to help you get started. There are several more items we didn’t discuss, such as ISBN, color vs. B&W, and more. But KDP will work with you on that as will just about any publisher that exists.

Find out the difference between Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing, and Indie Publishing. I’ve written about this subject in the past. And remember this, Indie Publishing means you have more responsibility, better royalties, and, of course, more work to do. Why not be an Indie?

If you are listening to this podcast, it has been brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day The Right Mixture #4

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at The Right Mixture #4.

In my last 3 blogs I talked about readers’ imagination, including Immerse Yourself in the character, Backstory, and Making it Real. Today we move to Research.

Research? Again?

I probably talk about research more than any other topic related to writing. And here is another as it relates to my last blog of Making it Real.

How does Research Make it Real?

Part of making your story realistic is to have the right information about a place or event. I am currently writing a story which partially takes place in a major American city. And I am doing the necessary research. If I haven’t been there it means digging deep so that people who have been there will recognize it. They’ll be able to picture the scene.

Why is that Necessary?

Remember those people I mentioned above. If I mention something and don’t describe it right, they will notice it. And it might ruin their reading experience.

I’ve used this example before, but I once read a story based on Noah and the Ark. At that time, I was working on a novel of my own about the Ark. I read this man’s novel and enjoyed it to an extent. But because he described unlikely items, such as a drinking glass, I didn’t enjoy it as much. I found myself looking for other mistakes instead of simply enjoying the book. You don’t want that to happen with your books.

Research Adds to the Story.

Proper research and usage add to the story sometimes subtly and sometimes noticeably. It’s an excellent tool.

More on the Right Mixture next blog.

Tip of the Day: Use research as a writing tool.

Get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Want to Write Biblical Novels?

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Want to Write Biblical Novels?

Writing a Bible-based novel can be successful or risky. But if you use these simple guidelines you should be able to appeal to a large audience.

  • Always assume the Bible is correct

You get messed up if you accept the popular myth that modern science knows better. Science can shed light upon the Bible, but it can never contradict the Bible.

  • Do Your Diligent Research

Use the Bible as a filter, a spotlight or research. When you find a new ‘fact’ shine the spotlight upon it. In my novels I studied the clothing, foods, weapons,and more of that era.

  • Work the Biblical Text into the Story

Sometimes take a direct quote of one or more verses and make them part of the story. Mix the Bible and modern English together so the characters speak using both interchangeably.

  • Use Bible Characters

This is unavoidable but good. If your reader is familiar with the Bible, there will be a common connection between your novel and the Bible.

  • Try avoiding conflicting characters

But the Bible may have more than one character with the same name. This creates a difficulty especially for readers who skip (one reviewer skipped and claimed I was inconsistent with my characters).

  • Use only one Bible version

You can use other versions to increase your own understanding, but only use one in the book. Otherwise you run the risk of confusing your reader. I use only KJV because I believe it is the only accurate version.

  • Don’t Be Preachy

That doesn’t mean no gospel nor no sermons or other Christian statements. It means not being overbearing. The gospel, sermons, etc., should all fit within your story seamlessly!

Tip of the Day: Use above guidelines.

Get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Writing a Series Pt 2

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. This is an experiment in microblogging. Let me know how I’m doing. Today I am looking at Writing a Series Pt 2.

This is the second part of a two-part series. In Part 1 we looked at the advantages of writing a series. Today we look at the How.

Tips

Here is a breakdown of the 5 advantages turned into tips.

  • I, the writer, can connect my thoughts from one book to another
    • Plant the seeds for the next book in the current book
    • Successfully close current story or plot
  • There is continuity for the reader
    • Leave threads unresolved at end of current book
    • In next book have thoughts, events, etc. ‘look back’ to previous book
  • Research is still there, but not nearly as much
    • Research is always an option
    • Research enables you, the writer, to explore and expand story and series
    • Use Internet, books, movies/videos, and more to develop ideas
  • Author has already laid out the location, time period, and customs
    • When writing new book use previous book as a resource
    • Add new vital information that can be used and expanded in later books
  • It makes writing easier
    • It helps you stay focused on characters and storyline
    • It can speed up your writing
    • It gives you a consistent platform

Generally speaking that is all you need to know. Begin here and allow yourself to grow.

Tip of the Day: Seriously consider turning your book into a series.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Our Free booklet tells you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review our books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Writing a Series Pt 1

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. This is an experiment in microblogging. Let me know how I’m doing. Today I am looking at Writing a Series Pt 1.

Should I Write a Series?

New writers are often advised to write a series. The argument is you have a better marketing opportunity. If a reader likes one, he/she will  likely buy the others. Is it true?

Yes. But there are other issues to be dealt with. Does the writer’s book have series potential? I know of people who want to write a story about theirs or someone else’s life and that’s all. A good writer could turn that book into a series, but first does that person really want to put out the effort. Only the writer can answer that.

Aside from marketing what advantages are there?

To answer that let me point to my books. Of all my books I’ve written, only one has not been turned into a series and that was Dead Eye Will. Why didn’t I make it into a series? Primarily I wasn’t interested. But I have considered rewriting the story and then turning it into a series, but at the moment I have other stories demanding attention.

But a series has advantages, such as:

  • I, the writer, can connect my thoughts from one book to another
  • There is continuity for the reader
  • Research is still there, but not nearly as much
  • Author has already laid out the location, time period, and customs
  • It makes writing easier

In Part 2 we will explore this further.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Our Free booklet tells you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review our books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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A Look At World That Was

As you know I recently published my newest novel World of Shem. Since this is book 3 of my series World That Was I thought it appropriate to take a look at the series.

World That Was is a series of books covering the Book of Genesis. While each book is strongly based on the Scriptures, I have not only added my imagination but have spent hours upon hours of research regarding such things as geography, foods, clothing, and more. Below is a summary of books both published and planned.

PERISHED

This first book of the series begins with Creation, the Garden of Eden, the Expulsion and the early lives of Adam and Eve. From those early days it continues onward until the day the Flood overtakes the world.

Readers have expressed glowing comments about this novel, such as “the author brings the Bible alive!”

WORLD OF NOAH AND THE ARK

This is the second book of the series. I wrote this because there is so much confusion about the Ark, especially coming from Hollywood. Therefore I not only depicted Noah and his family but I shined the light upon the construction of the Ark itself.

But I didn’t stop there. As an added bonus to my readers I added a Q&A section at the back of the book that is worth the book’s price all by itself. Here I answer some of the misleading claims of people who believe the Ark is nothing but fantasy. These claims include the geography of the old world as well as details regarding the construction of the Ark and its floatability.

WORLD OF SHEM

Book 3 of the series covers the Flood, time on the ocean, landing on Ararat, the sin of Ham, the Tower of Babel, the Confusion of Tongues and beyond. The book continues until Abram (Abraham) is in Haran.

WORLD OF ABRAHAM

Book 4 will cover Abraham’s life from Haran into Canaan and beyond. This novel explores his travels, his love for God, his inconsistencies, his nephew Lot and what happened to him, and more. The reader gets a close up view and understanding of Abraham and Sarah.

WORLD OF JACOB

Book 5 will cover a little of Isaac but will be focused upon Jacob and his adventures. This novel will also begin taking a look at his sons.

WORLD OF JOSEPH

Book 6 will be the story of Joseph. Here the reader will see the byplay of jealousy as it is played out by his brothers. Joseph himself has a few problems that the Bible hints at and must be addressed before he fulfills God’s plan.

As you can see I have a full load ahead for me. But I am looking forward to it. Writing these novels is far more than an exercise in imagination. Much research has already taken place and more will be required. While time consuming and tiring, it is well worth the effort.

Let me leave you with this principle: Research lends credibility to your work. No matter the genre, no matter the length of the novel, and no matter your skill level, research provides the basis for a good, credible story.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

 

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The World That Was: Adam

We have been looking at how I wrote The World That Was series. Today I will take a look at character development as it relates to Adam.

You might wonder what could possibly be difficult about creating the character Adam? After all, he is the primary character, other than God, in the first four chapters of Genesis. What’s so difficult?

It was difficult for the very reason that Adam is so well known. Anybody who has read those first four chapters has formed in their mind an image of what he was like. And the Bible gives insights. My task therefore required me to be very careful to make his personality fit what the Bible describes and hints at.

First, here are some basic facts found in the Bible:

1.     Adam was created from earth (clay?) by God
2.     Adam was the first human
3.     God gave him great intelligence (his offspring invented music, worked with brass (mining & industrial processes), established religion and more
4.     God placed him in the Garden of Eden
5.     God gave him a wife
6.     God fellowshipped with them morning & night (cool of day)
7.     Adam sinned
8.     Adam was expelled from the Garden
9.     Adam believed and worshipped God
10. Adam fathered at least three sons and possible three or more daughters

These are ten basic facts. You can discover more by studying the Bible. It provides a general insight into the man. But I needed more.

So how did I do it?

The first thing was to become familiar with his story as it is related in the Bible. Being something of a Bible student that wasn’t hard. I also needed to be aware of his unique relationship with God plus his life with Eve in and out of the Garden.

That last point provided me the spark my imagination needed. What was the Garden like? I did a lot of research on gardens, but eventually I settled on the fact that this was not like some backyard garden. It probably was more like the Amazon.

It was a perfect world that Adam found himself within. And when God created Eve, he had a perfect wife! This was all before sin corrupted us, so such perfection can not be found today. (I love my wife dearly, but she has a sin nature just like me, so that rules out perfection. Although she comes close.)

As I studied these questions I was able to put Adam in differing situations. This required me to step inside the man and become him. Then it was, As Adam how do I react to the Garden? What fascinates me? How do I relate to Woman (Eve)? These questions triggered my imagination.

More difficult than that was Adam’s relationship with God, his Creator. As Adam how did I view God? As Creator? As my Friend? Myriad possibilities. Added to that I had to be very careful about God Himself.

In writing about God I followed a very simple principle: Not to have God do anything or say anything that was not found elsewhere in the Bible. That was tough, but I believe I held to that principle successfully. Thus, the God of my novel was consistent with the God of the Bible.

Actually that principle is good for writing about any well-known historical figure. But it was an absolute must regarding God.

Back to Adam. Another principle I employed was: put myself in his shoes (so to speak). I referred to that above. But it is important enough to go deeper. When writing about your characters, especially your primary character, it is a big plus if you can become that character.

For example, I needed to put myself in Adam’s character and imagine my reaction to the first sin. That wasn’t impossible since I know how I feel whenever I sin; it is terrible guilt! With Adam it would have been magnified! And then there was the expulsion! The Garden of Eden was his home, the only home he had known. How did he feel and how did he react to being cast out?

Identifying with Adam enabled me to demonstrate his sorrow, his strength to handle the murder of Abel, and the building of “Little Eden.” This last was my imagination let loose. If I had been Adam I would have felt tremendous guilt, but I also would have remember the wonderful days in Eden. And I wouldn’t want to forget it! Thus, when I built my first home, and everyone thereafter, I would have built within the house a small place (perhaps a courtyard) where I could meditate and remember God. I might even call it “Little Eden.”

Once I had the character of Adam clearly embedded in my mind, I was able to trace out his history as the years went by and he faced different scenarios, virtually all for the first time.

All in all it was quite a humbling and satisfying experience. I used two very important principles:

1.     Not to have God do anything or say anything that was not found elsewhere in the Bible.

2.     Put myself in my character’s shoes.

I believe that your imagination is the most valuable tool a writer possesses. If you can put yourself within your character and express the result to your readers, you have the beginning of a successful story.

Imagination is something we emphasize in Authors Academy. While having an imagination is something you have or don’t (and if you don’t you are in the wrong business), but we can give you principles for employing it.

Your comments are welcome. Just go to my Facebook page and leave a comment about this article.

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R. Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

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The World That Was: Using Science

Last issue we looked at the supercontinent Rodinia. In this blog I will discuss science and how I used it.

First of all when discussing science you must decide which of the three viewpoints of science to which you adhere.

  1. True Science
  2. Evolutionary Science
  3. Creation Science

 Many of you might say that you adhere to true science. Unfortunately, that is impossible. True science, you see, is not really a viewpoint (yes, I tricked you). True science is the raw scientific data that exists in our knowledge base. It must be interpreted and interpretation rests upon viewpoint or theory.

Evolutionary science is a theory that believes that man evolved over millions and billions of years and interprets true scientific facts accordingly. At one point it held the day but today more and more scientists are questioning its validity.

Creation science is a theory that interprets true scientific facts according to its belief. It believes that a Higher Being, Who we Christians and Jews call God, created the world and man. There was a day that Creation science held the day, but then Evolutionary science came along and people thought it was better and more intelligent. But now the pendulum is swinging back to Creation as an increasing number of scientists are returning to a Creationist viewpoint.

I am a Christian who accepts the Creationist theory as the correct theory. Which brings us to today’s topic. Most writers don’t have to worry about such things, but when writing Biblically based stories it is a must.

Why?

Because the Bible record of events is at odds with evolution. It is true that people often twist the Bible to mean anything they want, which is why it is important to always read “in context.” When you read it that way it removes a lot of silliness.

So how did I use science? Being a Creationist I chose sources that I had complete confidence in having their facts straight. Two of these are Institute for Creation Research (ICR) and Answers in Genesis (AiG). There are others, of course, but those are in my opinion the best.

When writing the story of Creation itself I found these resources to be highly accurate and informative. I was able to draw out the knowledge I needed to undergird my book Perished: The World That Was. Not only for Creation, but also regarding the earth itself (see Rodinia) and the Flood (see Historical Perspective).

Science is a useful tool. Once you know which theory you embrace you can start researching your novel. Now, I will say this: If you embrace evolution you will have a very difficult time writing a Bible based novel or non-fiction book. Evolution simply doesn’t work well with the Bible. And, unfortunately for you, there is no middle ground such as Theistic evolution (a belief that is largely discounted by Evolutionists and Creationists).

So settle that in your mind. That is your starting point.

Actually when writing about Biblical events and people you will find you are using both the historical and the scientific resources at your disposal. I did. My primary was, and is, the Holy Bible. I rely on the King James Version because its history traces all the way back to the beginning (another subject) while other versions have broken histories and are suspect in their accuracy.

The best way that I have found to understand the science of Creation and other Biblical events is to:

1.     Let the Bible first interpret itself.

2.     Then use science to help understand.

Always use the Bible first. If you use science first and then try to fit the Bible within its realm, you will have problems. God gives us wisdom (science) to help understand not contradict His Word.

If you follow that simple rule you will do fine. You have no reason for hesitating at using science. It is a tool that can enrich your writing when done properly.

Will you be criticized? Perhaps. But such criticism will more often come from either non-Christians or Christians who don’t really believe that the Bible is inspired. (How can you know you are saved if you don’t believe the Bible is the Inspired Word of God? How do you know that Jesus really said you must be born again?)

Now be forewarned. When researching science there is a lot of information available. And it can get boring. So you will have to dig deep and persevere. You will learn more than you will ever need to put in your story, but you may need it to understand how best to use the information.

Remember this truism: Scientific and Historical data need to be accurate in your story, but they should not be the primary thing.

If you write science fiction novels the science will play a much bigger role. But in writing Bible based novels, the Biblical story is paramount.

What if you are writing a novel not based on the Bible? You still want your science and historical data to be accurate. All sorts of people will read your novel. Some of these may have a deep understanding of science, or of a particular historical era. You make a mistake and they will see it.

So how did I use science in regards to the Ark? First it required a lot of research. For Perished I used the latest scientific knowledge then available. Currently I am writing a Special Edition book about the Ark. There is much more information available. Back when writing Perished there were theories abounding about the Flood and the Ark, but now there has been more scientific discoveries both about the worldwide Flood and the possible construction of the Ark.

I have investigated these new facts and have used them where appropriate. As stated above, I learn more than I ever use. But that gives us another principle: New discoveries are always being made, so you need to keep in touch with the facts even after you have published your book.

Why?

Because you may some day write another book that would need the same facts or you may rewrite the book you just published. Your readers will be current so you should be also.

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R. Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. Authors Academy offers training in writing, publishing, and marketing.

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The World That Was: Historical Perspective

Last Wednesday I blogged about an Introduction to The World That Was. Today is the second in the series of blogs devoted to this subject. Last time I discussed how I got the title and subtitle of the first book of the series.

 Today I want to discuss the historical perspective.

 When the idea came to write my first novel, Refuge: The Genesis Record, it came as a result of a Bible study I was doing. And some of the facts recorded in the book came directly from the Bible. But since the Bible was written to instruct us about man’s relationship to God there were only some basic facts given, such as the blue print God gave Noah of the Ark.

 I was immediately faced with a problem. This world we live in now isn’t really interested in the Flood or pre-Flood history. Go backwards a couple hundred years and the interest would have been much higher allowing for a writer to easily discover facts and theories pertaining to the pre-Flood world.

 So I had a problem: How do I discover a factual basis, in addition to the Bible, to lay a strong foundation for a book? You might wonder why that would be necessary given I was writing fiction. My response is easy: I believe that the more facts the writer can discover, the richer his/her novel will be.

 The Pre-Flood World

 I love history. Period! So it is not surprising that I looked to history for the answers. And I discovered an amazing fact. A sophisticated society grew up within 500 years after the Ark landed on Mt. Ararat! While 500 years sounds like a lot of time in our personal worlds, from a historical point of view it is a very brief time.

 So I had discovered a perplexing situation. Although historical records of the pre-Flood era were gone except for the Biblical record, this 500 year miraculous rising of a sophisticated society demanded my attention. I quickly realized that the only way for such rapid development was if the people had carried over the flood a library, if you will, of knowledge.

 With that perspective in mind, the pre-Flood world was suddenly opened up. I could study the post-Flood world, combine it with the Biblical record, and arrive at a plausible, perhaps accurate, view of life before the Flood.

 Another factor that influenced me was the genius factor. As I read the Bible it was quite apparent that Adam and Eve were very intelligent. Scientists say we only use maybe 10% of our brain power. But if God created them perfect in all their ways (certainly implied in chapters one and two of Genesis) then they probably used a much higher percent of their brain power. We would probably call them geniuses if they were alive today.

 So I now that a perspective on Adam and Eve as two highly intelligent individuals who produced children and descendents who were also intelligent. I also had a window into their world to see what they had accomplished in 1656 years. And I had a Biblical account that highlighted some of the achievements.

 Now it only took a few minutes for me to describe the process involved, but it took days, weeks, and months of research to put it all together. You may never face the problem I first faced, but whatever genre you write in it will be necessary to do research. Some times it will be easy and at other times you may need to really dig for that nugget of information.

 The process for me was very rewarding. I learned more than I could ever include in my book. In addition, I was able to create a vibrant world that was believable and consistent with the Biblical record. Plus the characters were not merely one dimensional but were well rounded with strengths and weaknesses.

 So what am I saying? Basically this: Be willing to do the hard research. You may run into a wall, but don’t let that stop you. If the obvious research isn’t productive, think outside the box. What other ways can you discover the information?

 Was this interesting? Helpful?

 Feel free to comment.

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Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

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Vacation: Opportunity to Research Book

The idea for this blog came as my wife and I have been planning a vacation. Usually when we think of vacation it is fun and relaxation, but when we think of researching a book it is hard work.

 While on the face of it the two are not compatible, they can actually work together. One of the things most vacationers like to do is take pictures, both still and video. And one of the tools used for research is pictures. And there you have the connection.

Almost any genre can be researched when on a vacation. Here in the south there are many vacation spots where we could research geography, history or simply the local flavor of a town. Come to think about it, that’s not just the south, it is anywhere.

 For example, one of our favorite vacations was St. Augustine, Florida. This city is loaded with history and geography. The city claims to be the oldest city in America, has a 17th century fort, founded by Ponce De Leon, and so much more history. Plus lots of geography.

 When visiting a place like that you want to take a lot of pictures. Not to be filed away in a closet, but as potential story lines or at least background material. And you do this while having a good time!

 I don’t know if one of us will some day write a story that takes place in St. Augustine, but we could.

 Another source is brochures. These are usually packed with information that can tickle your imagination. Plus, there is the experience itself of walking the streets, visiting the various historical buildings, and seeing the city.

 All of these take place on a vacation and are potential research material for future stories.

 But, you say, I’m not planning t write on the place we’re going to vacation at. Doesn’t matter. You might change your mind, in which case if you took the pictures and picked up the brochures you have a gold mine of information.

 Or you might use the material for some other real or imaginary place!

 The simplicity is amazing! You actually do research while enjoying yourself. Instead of hours on the computer you see, feel, and smell the facts that may be just the nugget that fires up your imagination!

 So use your vacation as a research tool.


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